Julia Frakes is a one-woman fashion power-house. A writer with Next Models Special Bookings division and stylist, she is also the editor of forthcoming The Sovereign Nation and has written for magazines including Lula, Vogue Nippon, 25, Vogue Girl Korea and Paper.
What’s hot right now?
While Miuccia Prada’s autumn/winter ’10 reprisal of the prim and proper eyewear trend of yore has been a major hit editorially—perhaps as a quirky response to the Mad Men mania taking over the States—plenty of old school, independent or otherwise zany spectacle companies have been keeping the schoolmarm chic alive including my favorite frame purveyors Moscot, Shuron, Karen Walker, Prism, Illesteva, Janz & Cooper, Linda Farrow, Albert Maysles (by Barton Perreirra) and Tom Ford. Perhaps the current glasses trend is most reflective of a larger societal inkling: a return to authenticity as incarnated in the prevailing “real girl” persona, whereby education is championed and undue plastic surgery is frowned upon. Strong, witty, decidedly “nerdy” women like Tina Fey and Rachel Maddow are, for the first time in decades, equally well received by the scholarly elite and the mainstream alike. As evidenced by the staggeringly wide-ranging array of stylish glasses-wearers—including Carrie Donovan, Chloë Sevigny, Henry Kissinger, Le Corbusier, Ralphie Parker (from A Christmas Story), Hamish Bowles, Buddy Holly, John Lennon and Groucho Marx—glasses ought not to be thought of as a mere accessory, but rather as an extension of one’s personality.
What are the best things fashion has to offer right now?
Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem silk hiking boots: I am head-over-heels for the juxtaposition between Erdem Moralioglu’s delicate and dreamy silk “flutter” print with the rustic hiking motifs of Nicholas Kirkwood’s brass buckles, sturdy lug sole and outdoorsy laces. Henrik Vibskov diffus cardigan: likely owing to his Danish sense of whimsy and lighthearted aesthetic, I covet everything with Henrik’s stamp on it (be it art, music, prints or video), and he is one of my favorite menswear, womenswear and accessories designers of our time. This cozy and easy-to-wear cardigan is especially sought-after as its pattern is based off of Henrik’s original drawings.
Christopher Kane cashmere multicolored floral pullover: the button fastenings along the underside of the sleeves give Christopher Kane’s proper Scottish knit an offbeat cape-cum-pullover silhouette. I adore how the floral embroidery’s (rather grandmotherly) nod to Vita Sackville-West’s 20th century gardens can easily be turned on its head when paired with a super short skirt or kilt, thereby adding a slightly ironic youthful charm. Janz & Cooper “This is Not a Mountain” sunglasses in brown/transparent clear: mark my words, Janz & Cooper’s ultra-English specs are the next big thing in eyewear. Handcrafted in Great Britain, these sunglasses are just as cut for the runway as they are for a Savile Row gentleman…or Biggie Smalls…or my mom—talk about wide-ranging appeal!
What’s on heavy rotation in your closet?
Come wintertime, I’m all about chunky knits, waffle leggings and sturdy saddle shoes and brogues. These city streets were certainly not paved with heels in mind, so I tend to stick with my trusty flats and escape New York to flee to the country as often as possible. Off-duty, I essentially live in basics from The Row, cozy oversized sweaters from Peter Jensen or Joseph (by Jason Wu) or The Reformation (on Ludlow Street), my Proenza Schouler XL PS1 to haul around my life, thick cozy socks by Pendleton Meets Opening Ceremony or Hansel from Basel (both lines from Jane Leslie & Co.), Cacharel scarves and laid-back brogues from Rag & Bone or Gravati or Rachel Comey or Jil Sander.